Review in Hungarian Magyarul itt: Újegyenlőség
Have you ever looked into how large is the average handspan? or how large is a female or a male handspan? If you play the piano you may find that the keyboards are designed to fit the average male hand? So what... you may wonder. Well, the consequences can be measured with statistics, the disadvantage: the disproportionate work-related injuries women suffer and where keyboard players are most at risk if we look into instrumentalists. Not speaking of the 'successful performers', injuries disqualify one to get into the club, and yes, larger hand span makes one more likely to get there. This is just one example of the problem that we encounter almost everywhere: the design bias, based on the 'average men' assumption: buildings, offices, public toilets, air-conditioning adjustments just to name a few.
The book unfolds with a sea of data: macro and micro-level, data that has at first hand UK and US-focus but being systemically–within the limits of availability and space–contrasted and complemented with data from developing countries, with a special focus on the global South. Turns out, despite of the differences in social-cultural contexts that are not being taken into account by developmental and "aid" projects, subtle and explicit mechanisms of segregating women or neglecting the needs and situation of women is an overarching problem. In case of emergency or disasters the problems around shelters or refugee centers with gender neutral and remote toilets, and shared spaces evoke the same problems of violence and rape despite of the location: Sweden, US, Lebanon or India. The same goes with the series of examples connected to political participation of women, even if they go through the diverse electoral processes that might favor or not their presence, turns out harassment: verbal, sexual, and cutting the voice by institutional or situational means as well as crowding women out from decision-making through informal ties: are all present in Argentina or New-Zealand, in Afganistan or Sweden. Women are being perceived as more aggressive for the same behavior as men in politics.
Julianna Faludi PhD is a sociologist and writer. She is interested in the relationship of technology, society and the arts, and ethical consumption. Her background is in economic sociology, development studies, and humanities. As a professor she has a track record in lecturing courses in Innovation, Branding, the Arts, Russia studies, and Sociology. Beforehand she worked with regional development in different roles. Julianna has experience in broadcasting, giving talks, and writing. She masters several languages, Russian, Italian, English, French and Hungarian.
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